23 April 2010

Another Three-Shot Blog Group

Kanani Fong, a member of my blog's "Loyal Jirga," introduced me to the words of Rajiv Srinivasan, a West Pointer who is currently downrange in Afghanistan. Srinivasan's work is everything that Sherpa's is not: It's literary, long-form, and thoughtful. When I see that he's posted something new, I make sure to carve out a little space and time (and coffee) to savor it.

Check out his blog at: rajivsrinivasan.wordpress.com

Jirga member Ky Woman recently discovered a young "Red Bull" officer who's been blogging since March 2009! Not only that, as she pointedly pointed out to me, he's doing so in broad daylight. Maybe this means that my well-developed sense of paranoia regarding the Internet is mis-placed. Certainly, having an officer present in the burgeoning brigade blogosphere might give old Sherpa a little supporting fire. You know, for when the anti-Internet ice weasels come.

Gabe Haugland is apparently an attorney in civilian life, but makes up for that by also being an Infantry guy. Remember: Everything we headquarters TOC-rats do is to help the warfighters in the Infantry. If it isn't, we should just hang it up and go home. Because we will have become a danger to ourselves and others, and not in a good way.

Check out his blog at: ourarmylife.com

Finally, while I'm new to the work and writing of Ann Marlowe, I've found a lot of her "Peace Later!" posts on Afghanistan for World Affairs journal reasoned, plain-spoken, and insightful. For example:
I think that trying to work within a system that is rotten all the way from the very top [...] has a corrosive effect on Americans here. I’ve noticed its symptoms in myself, too. You become cynical about every Afghan official you meet, and something dies inside you every time you smile and shake hands with someone who should be in jail, or, in some cases, dead. Many foreigners I know in Kabul drink too much, exercise too little, and gradually Afghanize into lethargy.

The Afghans, of course, have already Afghanized, and that’s the problem. [...] The best we can hope for now are the kind of Afghan government officials who identify with the interests of the government as though it were another tribe. They will at least protect its property and interests, which roughly speaking means our investment here. And of course some few genuinely care about achieving something here.
It's just Citizen Sherpa talking here, of course, but I wish more of our political and military leaders spoke as plainly and realistically as this. Don't blow smoke, daisies, and democracies where the sun don't shine, just tell it like it is.

'Nuff said.


  1. Excellent! I've added these blogs to our war blogroll over on the LA Times Pressmen's blog.

    I especially like the assessment by Ann Marlowe. But I wonder how many of these reporters have been there too long, and what the point is to keeping them over there if they are no longer effective in getting the story. I think it's probably a grueling thing day in and day out. I just hope they all have a back up plan for when they return to their life in the states.

  2. From Gabe's post yesterday, I see that you made the connection! Pretty darn cool for me and the rest who read mil-blogs. We've got more go-to guys for the 'boots on the ground' truth.

    I've read a few pieces of Ann Marelowe. But there's something tickling my brain when it searches for reference to her. Hopefully I'll be able to peruse her blog soon and see if the old gray matter clicks into recovery mode. Uhm yeah, not holding my breath on that one. LOL

  3. @ Kanani: Roger that on tired writers!

    @ Ky Woman: On the Ann Marlowe front, she apparently had some earlier notoriety regarding a memoir on addiction. She was also a rock music critic. Of course, I had to look all that up on Wikipedia:

    Thanks again for making mutual blog connections! I really couldn't do this without people like you and Kanani!


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